Tuesday I began having some kind of sneezy fit that I decided was the beginning of a cold. This reminded me of the last time I was sick, January 2014. Horrible flu ~ had to stay home from work for a week+. So, I figured I’d better go get a flu shot since it was already October.

First I tried the clinic in my office building, but they wanted me to sign a form saying I’d pay their attorneys’ fees if my insurance refused the cost of the shot and they sued me. That seemed ridic since the shot was $20, which I would have simply handed to them. I said fuck it and went to Target, where they were happy to inject me, sans bullshit, and my insurance paid their cost. Afterward, I poasted to Facebook, mocking the anti-vax nutters.

Of course then I began to feel sick. The next day I was totes ill with fever and achies. I thought maybe I shouldn’t have taken the shot when I had cold symptoms, even though they said it was OK as long as I didn’t have fever. I had the chills all day and my temp was over 101 when I got home. A google search showed it wasn’t that unusual to get a fever after the shot, but 101 was kinda high. It broke at midnight though and I feel fine today (Friday). No cold symptoms either, so I guess my self-diag was wrong and I just had an allergy attack Tuesday.

Let me make it clear: one day of feeling sick was infinitely better than getting the flu again. Hopefully I won’t get the flu, though of course the shot doesn’t guarantee that, only lowers the odds. But I have never gotten the flu during years I’ve been vaccinated. (I skipped 2013/2014 ~ dumb!)

Yesterday was the first time ever I felt seriously ill and didn’t have my mother (d. 2008) or my ex-husband to whine at.  (Until June of 2014, despite the divorce, the ex and I were in frequent contact and he was generally comforting, depending on the sitch, always for illness.) When I realized this, last night home alone, I began to cry, which of course made me feel worse. I made myself stop, drank a real Coke, and watched a totally strange movie with Humphrey Bogart and whatsherface. I think it was called Dark Passage. HB, convicted of murder, escaped from SQ in a barrel on a truck and Lauren picked up him, etc. Don’t want to spoil it, in case it’s been on your watchlist since 1947, so all I’m gonna say is Agnes Moorehead (Sam’s mother on Bewitched) rocked, which was fun.

As I huddled in my blankie, I realized that, for all their faults, both my mom and my ex were great to have around when I was sick. They’d immediately put aside whatever thing they were currently obsessing over and focus on me. I always felt very loved and cared about during illness with them. Not so much the rest of the time, but wev. (Should have been “sick” more often all along, eh?) It was tough feeling that bad alone yesterday ~ and very different from, say, simply having to rest at home for a weekend cuz of an enormous bruise or something. I could have DIED from the flu shot reaction! What if my fever kept rising and I couldn’t breathe? Thinking about that got me all panicky until I actually felt short of breath. Then I told myself to cut it the fuck out. I kept missing chunks of the movie because of my psychosomming, but I think I got the gist of it.

The weirdest thing about Dark Passage is that before HB’s facial surgery, the camera was “in his head” only. We saw everything from HB’s POV and never saw his face ~ just like it would be if you were actually experiencing what he did. I thought that was cool. But after the surgery, shooting was normal, and I realized they only did the POV thing as a cheat so they could pretend to alter his appearance without having to bother making him look different beforehand. Would that have been terribly difficult, in 1947? Idk.

But this flick mainly suffered from a ludicrous series of coinkydinks, as many films and books do. I just can’t deal with that anymore! One coinkydink per story is about all I can take. I’ve become nuts about this as well as writers’ financial delusions. What I mean by that is when someone writes a waitress living in a Park Avenue apartment or similar. I’ve seen this done in countless TV shows and movies. Characters with marginal jobs (or sometimes no jobs) have 99 problems, but apparently money isn’t one of them, which is totes absurd and ruins a story for me. Everyone in a sitcom can afford a huge, beautiful house! Stupid. It actually makes me appreciate The Brady Bunch, where they had the 3 boys sharing one bedroom and the 3 girls sharing another one. That’s more in the range of normal. Though they did have a live-in maid…

Tony the astronaut in IDOJ had a small, one-bedroom house. One-bedroom! Plus he would periodically get mad at Jeannie for not understanding how money works, which makes sense. Astronauts probably don’t make a huge salary and can’t afford dinners full of weird middle-eastern delicacies every night. And Roger, another astronaut, lived in a normal apartment, while DOCTOR Bellows had a larger, nicer house. Thank you, Sidney Sheldon (RIP).

I watched Marley & Me the otter night and again… young married peeps get columnist jobs at Florida newspapers and the next minute buy a big house with a pool. Where’d the down-payment come from? Then she quits working to raise their kids, his column gets popular, and bam bigger house. Next they’re in a freaking mansion in Pennsylvania when he gets a new job. How the fuck much do newspaper people make anyway? I realize this could have been during the boom bubble thinger, but it still irritates me. At least they could EXPLAIN how this happened. Like, oh wow, honey our house has tripled in value and we’ll have a huge DP for our move to Philly, or whatever… cue dog eating the tax return. “NO MARLEY!”

The most financially sound show ever is Breaking Bad, of course. Kudos to the writers!

I could have sworn that I blarghed about this before, but I can’t find any money ranty TV/movie poast. Maybe I commingled it with dating jabbery and nuked it during the Great Purge or one of the Lesser Purges. Possible. Anyway, consider yourselves properly ranted at now.

You’re welcome. Have a nice weekend.


The Dorito Effect II

The otter day I blarghed about The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker while I was still reading it cuz I got so excited I couldn’t wait to tell y’all about it. Done now.

Couple key points. One, this book is not promoting veganism or vegetarianism; there’s quite a lot about finding good chicken. Just to get that straight. Two, it’s not some woo woo goofery, but actual science and research.

For me, I resonate with the idea that for the most part we do find delicious that which is good for us. It sucks to be subjected to all this flavor fakery that fools us into thinking we’re eating something nutritious, like say strawberries, but in fact are gobbling up sugar and engineered flavorings. Sometimes this fakery causes us to overeat because we sense that we’re not actually ingesting something good for us and want to keep eating until we do. However, our food has gotten to such a state that the fake stuff tastes better than the real stuff many times because the real stuff has become so bland and watery due to the quest for bigger yields at a faster pace ~ and because the food scientists have become so good at tweaking flavors.

Schatzker addresses the phenomenon of the binge eater or food addict. Why do some people end up in this state and others in similar environments don’t? OK, beyond your mom messing you up. The working hypothesis was that the addicts experienced a higher degree of pleasure from eating… but that turned out to be incorrect when brains were scanned. What occurred is the addicts experienced a much higher level of anticipation and the eating experience couldn’t match that level, so they kept wanting more food. Nothing ever really satisfied them. This is different from feeling unsatisfied from a nutritionally poor meal, but the two states can occur together obviously.

Of course I began to wonder if this occurs in other areas of life and I’m sure it must. Peeps who are more intense anticipators/fantasizers possibly do not find the same satisfaction in actual events than “normal” anticipators, so they keep going after more and more and more. I wonder if that happened to me after my divorce when I began dating again. I had such high expectations that reality was always sure to disappoint. As it did.

Interesting. Brains are. :)

Shanghai Noodles

People! I maded the most delicious thing tonight. I created this Shanghai Cold Noodle Salad ~ and guess what? I almost followed the recipe exactly. Sort of a first, I think. OK, I didn’t use the pasta they said (Chinese wheat noodles or Japanese style udon) cuz I couldn’t find it, so I substituted fettuccine. Hey, same diff! Thick noodles, wot. And I doubled the dressing cuz it seemed skimpy, but I didn’t double the salt because that looked cray-cray. I used cayenne pepper instead of red because it’s a legit substitution. Oops, I forgot to follow the ratio, so the dish is a little spicy. Other than that, all perfecto. Soooo tasty!

Noodles’ll be cold and nom for the luncheon tomorrow. :)

Shanghai Noodles

The Dorito Effect

I’m about halfway through this book by Mark Schatzker, and it is fascinating! Now, I know some of you probably aren’t concerned with what’s been done to food by big corporations, and that’s cool. For a long time I couldn’t be bothered thinking about this stuff either ~ just gimme my frosted “strawberry” cupcake and shaddap! But for those who are interested, I highly recommend The Dorito Effect.

From chickens to tomatoes, our food has slowly lost its natural flavor due to the drive to get more and bigger, faster. But food is tastier than ever because of the extremely meticulous way flavors have been scientifically dismantled, analyzed, and recreated to stimulate our pleasure receptors. We find out exactly why we can’t stop with just one chip.

This book isn’t exclusively or primarily for vegans or vegetarians, btw, but for anyone who is interested in what they’re actually eating these days and why some foods have become so addictive.

The Missing 10 Years

Unlike normal people, I have an abacus in my head. This is why (1) it’s so easy for me to math sans pencil and paper (not that I don’t ever make a mistake, but I’m pretty good); and (2) I get super-impatient with peeps who can’t math. I also find it very easy to memorize numbers and retain them for a long time.

That said, I have a problem with the 1980s. Every time I mention something from that decade it “feels” like 20 years ago in my mind. I constantly make errors because of this. Forex, someone complimented my necklace last night and I said it’s at least 20 years old. This isn’t technically wrong, but a more accurate reply would have been that it’s at least 30 years old, since I received it as a gift in the early 1980s. Whenever I talk about my move from Illinois to California, I’ll routinely eliminate a decade. Etc.

It’s not that I’ve forgotten the 1980s, at all. I loved the 80s! I may have forgotten the ’90s however. Apparently there was new music then. I did not know this. But my secondhand CD store has loads of stuff from the 1990s, so it must be true. I know there is music from the Aughties because my children forced me to listen to it. I suppose that’s only fair since I raised them on weird hits of the 1960s.

And I’m not in denial about my age or anything like that. There is just this odd error-math going on in my head regarding the 1980s. I wonder what will happen after 2020… will I catch up and view the 80s properly as 40 years back, add a decade and think of them as 30 years ago, or still keep them 20 years behind?

Stay tuned!


The Radical Radish

I was thinking about the word radical the otter day for some reason, and I looked it up. Most of us think of it as extreme, right? Well, that’s the second (and third) part of the definition. The first is more interesting:

of or going to the root or origin; fundamental

When I saw that I thought of radish ~and indeed further down you can see that they mention radish as they discuss the word origin and history of radical:

late 14c., in a medieval philosophical sense, from Late Latin radicalis “of or having roots,” from Latin radix (genitive radicis) “root” (see radish ). Meaning “going to the origin, essential” is from 1650s. Radical sign in mathematics is from 1680s.

Regarding math, we have… “pertaining to or forming a root.” Radix is the base of a number system.

Radical… radish… radix. Roots. Very cool.  Is it radical to get back to your roots? One wouldn’t think so, but… :D


Migraine Buddy

I downloaded this app on September 14th, so it hasn’t even been two weeks yet. At first I was a bit surprised (and bummed out) that I seemed to be experiencing a migraine every day. It’s funny you can be in denial about something (like how many calories you’re actually consuming) until it is recorded. Anyway. I haven’t had one for 3 days now!


But just as I don’t really know what triggers the things, I also don’t know why I’m on day 3 of feeling OK. Yesterday I began to feel one, at Yom Kippur services in a super-sunny room, but I took 2 Excedrin ES pills when I got home and it faded. I have been more aggressive in taking Zyrtec at the first sign of sinus discomfort, since the app showed that every one of these migraines was accompanied with a stuffed nose. Could be coincidence from the hot, weird weather causing both; or maybe the stuffiness is significant. I don’t know.

As far as sleep, which has been a trigger for years (both too little and too much), turns out that right now I’m averaging less than 6 hours per night, including naps. Sometimes I combine my naps into a block of night sleep time, which I shouldn’t do because that’s inaccurate. But anyway, here’s the sleep chart:


Honestly I don’t think this is enough sleep for anyone, but I don’t know what to do about it. I am sure this lack of sleep is making me clumsier and dumber. I have a ton of mysterious bruises ~ though the big one on my leg has subsided to the point where I can wear normal skirts and shorts again. (Wow, it’s been over a month since I poasted that!) I keep thinking that when it’s not so hot at night I’ll sleep better, but idk if that’s even true. However now I will have evidence rather than just guessing and living in denial, so there is that.

Apparently the cleverest thing I’ve ever said online is “guillotine” as the answer to a Facebook question on what is my favorite migraine product. It has 85 likes now. But the serious answer is sumatriptan ~ I don’t think I’d be able to keep my job without that med. Yet, I can’t seem to do without Excedrin ES either (generic is fine), and I have been taking ibuprofen with the sumatriptan because a doctor recently told me that this is the most effective combo. This appears to be true. And apparently I still need allergy meds ~ the real stuff, the pre-meth, not the faux OTC meds. Zyrtec-D contains some newfangled antihistamine, but it’s the pseudoephedrine that does the trick for me. I’ve needed almost daily allergy meds since I got off the plane from Chicago at LAX 32 years ago next month with a blinding headache (possibly a mini-stroke, since I could hardly see or walk), and that appears to be the one constant thing in my life.

Anyway, unlike most apps that are just for games and garbage, Migraine Buddy is useful. I recommend.

Library Books!

I tried to use my library card online, at a friend’s rec, to download books to my KindleFire. Turns out, my card expired in January 2014. I had to trudge ten miles in the snow over to Huntington Beach to renew it. Once I did, I thought whoa I could get like some real books to read! It was very fun grabbing ones with cool covers and reading the jackets and stuff. Memories! Anyway, I got eight books because eight is good, and also more would be too hard to carry. They had these newfangled self-checkout machines that I was all confuzzled over, so the librarian lady had to halp me.

Now I shall live-blog the first book, which is about online dating (lol). It’s titled Meeting Your Match by Daisy Buchanan and categorized as non-fiction.

If you’re serious about meeting someone, don’t take anything too seriously.

OK, so maybe Daisy nails my problem right in the introduction. Let’s read on…

You will need to beware of the weirdos, but that’s easily done once you have learned to spot the signs early on from their profile and messages.

Can’t wait until Daisy tells me the signs.

She totally bags on the free sites, especially OKC, which makes me wonder if someone (ahem match dot com ahem) paid her to write this book.

She advises to beware of anyone who describes themselves as “creative” because they will eventually ask to borrow money! HA HA HA HA! Spot on, Daisy.

Men who talk about their “crazy ex” are likely to be gaslighters. Hmm. That’s interesting.

(At this point I’m slightly disturbed at the way the first paragraph in a section is a larger font than the rest. But I’m enjoying the book so far at page 28.)

There’s some new-agey gibberish about how you have to feel lovable before anyone can love you. Bla bla. What if I just want some free sushi, huh huh? J/k. Make lists of things you like about yourself and things that make you happy. Go do happy things and then…


LOL. If only Daisy’s book had been around in 2011.

Now we have pages of dull drabble about how not to be obviously stupid with your profile wording and photos. There are “real quotes” from peeps talking about the most terrible messages they’ve received, like one dude Joe saying a woman wrote all her stuff in abusive limericks.

(Dammit Joe, you said they were cute!)

Don’t vomit the entire content of your brain into your first message. Good advice.

A first message should be more cerebral. “I’d love to talk to you about your degree in Art History.” Thrilling.

If the messages aren’t exciting, that means you aren’t a match. And if they are, meet in person ASAP. I tried to follow both parts of this advice for four years and nada. But, as we know, I was always Too Serious.

Don’t let the messaging get to the stage where any human contact can only disappoint you.

This should have been my mantra! Oh well. Too late now.

Most of the people you meet online will be honest and genuine.

Oh Daisy. You haven’t really done this, have you?

Stereotypical advice on first dates comes next, followed by five descriptions of horrible first dates that everyone supposedly has had ~ the boring coffee, Mr. Never Shuts Up, the show-off designer dude, the wild and crazy skydivy guy, and the drinking contest. Actually, I’ve only ever experienced the first two.

Now Daisy promises the reader that she will eventually meet Mr. Right and until then must endure loads of bad dates so she’ll have entertaining stories for her friends. Daisy then regales us with supposedly true stories from first name only peeps.

Next is stupid fluff filler about hypothetical ways to leave a bad date that no one would do. After that is patronizing stuffs about how all this badness will help you develop useful skillz for the work world, like we all didn’t already learn how to sit through a boring meeting when we were five years old.

Finally we come to The Thing. The big message. The one I’ve heard repeatedly and am convinced is absolutely correct. This is the way to go about having a fun online dating experience that will inevitably result in meeting your person.


Don’t get serious. Don’t think anyone is “the one.” Go out all the time, several nights per week, meet everyone who seems OK. Understand that all of them are doing it too, and it’s cool. It’s cool whether you meet for “just coffee” or get a hotel room. It’s all good. Be fun and carefree, wheee!

I can’t do that, never could. I don’t want to be with anyone who does this. But I do believe it is a better way to go about it than my boringly serious MO.

Daisy met her guy on Twitter, she says, not a dating site. She met 30 men that way. I must be doing Twitter wrong too, cuz I hardly chat with anyone there, though one married guy in the Midwest did send me a pile of mushy messages late one night. Daisy says Twitter and Facebook are good places to meet peeps cuz you are your very own casual, relaxed self instead of Looking for Dates, but then she goes on to say you should clean up your profile and pics to look more appealing.

The end is a mishmash of first-name success stories and other goopery, plus a safety checklist and a list of sites and acronyms. It’s a cute book, though not relevant to me. I never did find the Weirdo Signs. Maybe Daisy thinks that we can figure them out for ourselves after a while. Yah right.

The book is written in “British,” which I find fun to read.

Next up is Outline by Rachel Cusk, fiction.

Some Incredibly Tedious Navel-Glazery

It’s hard to know where to start when talking about health because everything overlaps and devours each other thing like an Ouroboros. But I do want to jabber on about migraines and veganishism and stuffs.

Summary of migraine progression over the decades: steadily worse, interspersed with some periods of seeming improvement (usually from a new prophylactic drug) that never lasts. I downloaded the Migraine Buddy app to see if we could find any patterns to triggers or whatever, and it hasn’t even been a week yet, but I’ve had three migraines, two of which were pretty horrible. One thing I noticed is that with all three I’ve had a stuffy nose. Dunno if this is significant or if it’s the weather ~ however this morning I have neither a migraine nor a stuffy nose. But the weather has again changed and could have triggered both, or neither.

I’ve come to arrange my life around migraines, which is pretty sad. Decades ago, I’d have a couple a month, and while they were no fun, I could still drink, pull an all-nighter, get totally stressed over some man, etc., and not be guaranteed a massive dose of head pain. Now, I don’t do any of that and still end up with three per week, minimum. It just sucks.

As stated, diet doesn’t appear to have any effect on frequency or severity, with a very few exceptions. Nacho Cheese Doritos will trigger one. Dunno what’s in those. Regular chips are fine. Cheese generally is OK, except if I have a chunk of plain cheese on an empty stomach I will get nauseated and end up with a big headache. But I haven’t been eating much cheese lately due to wanting to be more vegan. No difference in headaches. (And yes, I intend to continue using the word headache for migraine whenever I please, so peeps who freak out at that can just eff off. Migraine is head pain, hello.) One beer will give me a migraine 50% of the time. One glass of wine or any kind of hard liquor will give me one 90% of the time. Dating always leads to stress/headaches, and I’ve jettisoned it.

I don’t want to hear about protein because (1) I get enough, and (2) I ate a lot of meat in 2013 and that made no difference either way. What it did do, or appears to have done, is boost my total cholesterol over 200, which was disturbing. This year it was down in the 180s, which think can be attributed to giving up not only meat but also most dairy (not all, all the time). I have not had beef or chicken since February, and even my consumption of “real” desserts has been way down. However, I still need to work on the ratio of good/bad cholesterol, which means more leafy veggies, oatmeal, and beans. My version of veganishism focuses on Clif bars and avos.

For some peeps, giving up meat would be tough to impossible, but it simply is not hard for me. I don’t think I ever loved meat that much in the first place. I just don’t care that I’ll never eat another hamburger. (I am sad that I can’t haz a margarita though.) So, I’m not going to take credit for doing something easy. However, giving up the eggs/butter in baked goods is difficult and I haven’t fully embraced that yet. I had ice cream last Sunday from Ben & Jerry’s, and it was so damn delicious (I have not found an acceptable substitute, but I’m working on it). I’m not wracked with guilt, but I don’t intend to do that very often.

Also, I do eat out at “normal” restaurants frequently and it’s difficult to ascertain wtf is in non-vegan food. Forex, I’ll order fish tacos and they’ll come with a sauce. What’s in that? Idk! Oh yeah… fish. I feel less bad about eating fish than drinking milk. Cows are horribly mistreated; fish are just dirty. I still love sushi and will engage in some wonderful cognitive dissonance to eat it once every couple months. But I’m OK with that because overall I’m still doing good. (Not well, good.)

I suck at exercising. Generally I’ll take a nice long walk one or both weekend days, which is good. Then I will intend to do my aerobics video 20-30 minutes each weeknight, which would be great if it ever happened more than once during the work week. I’m just tired when I get home, and often I have a headache or am wiped out from taking stuff to combat the headache I had at work. This makes me feel really old and decrepit, which is depressing. I keep trying to do better. Every week I vow to do better at exercising. It’s really important.

I was going to say that I just read an article the other day about how exercise helps to “ward off” Alzheimer’s, but now I don’t remember if that’s what I read or if it was coffee or puzzles.


I’m good with coffee and puzzles, btw.

Fallen Men

Check out this funny poast about naming an engineering device from my good friend Rob! Fallen Men.